(Cartoon cover, Milt Priggee, Miltprigee.com)
Thoughts on the existential threat
I had an interesting conversation yesterday about a question I posed in my last article, about ISIS and the existential threat it poses to America. You don’t have to read it, but that question goes something like this:
If the American people view ISIS as an existential threat, capable of changing if not destroying outright our safety and comfort, and the US government does not agree with us on this account…for any reason…what will the people do about it?
But what if only half of the American people believe this, the other half with their minds locked into their gun-free Connecticut and California mindsets? Who tilts the table? ISIS or patriotic Americans?
As I outlined in that article about both Pearl Harbor and 9-11, the people and the US government moved simultaneously, in lock step, and took the battle to the enemy. But who led who? Did FDR lead us into war or did the unbending disposition of the American people actually mandate our war policy? What if, on December 8th, FDR had gone before Congress and the radio microphone and told the American people that he was immediately dispatching a delegation to Tokyo to see if we couldn’t repair this misunderstanding and negotiate a rapprochement? What if he’d called the attack “inappropriate” or “unacceptable behavior for a modern world power in the middle of the 20th Century” and then dashed off to Warm Springs to plan his next steps.? What if FDR’s invoked the ever-popular Scarlett O’Hara dodge, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”?
What if George W Bush had gone before the cameras on 9-12 and told the American people he was forming a blue-ribbon, bi-partisan commission to look into this barbarous attack on the Twin Towers, to try and better understand why those people hated us so much? What if Bush had told the people “that we have long arms and long memories and will leave no stone unturned until we track down the perpetrators”, then announcing he’d ordered the Attorney General to send his best FBI teams and lawyers to track these people down and bring them to justice?
Would Bush or FDR have dared try such a stunt? And what would the American people have done if they had?
What would you do? Send an even angrier letter to your congressman or the newspaper and then be done with it?
The American people, in many respects, are in new territory here, although it is ground we have walked over three times, now. For unlike Pearl Harbor, this is a threat we can see coming as plainly as the nose on our face. No American woke up on Dec 7th or Sept 11 knowing what the day would bring. And the public beheading of one American citizen does not a 9-11 make. But the ability and present intent to actually carry one out…actually dozens of smaller ones…does. And that present danger is here and now. And it lays on the chest of the American people chest like an anvil if my anecdotal evidence is correct. We will still go about our daily business in the same old way, only now knowing our lives can turn on a dime, but also unknowing what our government will do about it…or confident that it will do anything other than stall, and stutter and stammer, while trying to figure out a strategy about what needs to be done while trying to hide the fact that it had failed to do what needed to be done the past three years or more, unleashing this threat in the first place. Will public safety or political CYA come first in this government’s minds?
Within only a few days we will know how this administration will react to this ISIS threat, and I am none too confident, in part because this government is highly invested in continuing to portray this threat as regional, worth no more than sending a few briefcases at them, as Clinton once felt about bin Laden. This administration is invested in minimizing the ISIS threat because to remobilize and meet the threat over there would be to admit that it got in wrong in 2011 when it declared victory against Al Qaeda and terrorism, calling that war off, without any agreement by the other side, thus insuring the collapse of the Arab democratic experiment in Iraq thirty years prematurely, all because we refused to provide them the required insulation. While no one expected ISIS to be as sophisticated and virile as it has become, our intelligence sources certainly knew more about it these past several months than they can afford to let on now. But the un-hinging of Iraq was a fait accompli in 2011, and everyone knew a vacuum would ensue…thus insuring that 4486 American soldiers would have died for nothing.
As with the IRS debacle, this government will spend more of it resources in covering up past mistakes than in providing the American people, or even history, an honest picture of what has transpired in the total disintegration of American foreign policy in the Middle east.. Our policy against Bashar Assad, a really petty dictator who really never made war on any of his citizens except those that made war on him first (a group called the Muslim Brotherhood…ever heard of them?). Today the MB is called “moderate Islamists” compared with super-bad jihadists like ISIS. Hillary Clinton’s fingerprints were all over changing the relationship between the US and Syria, and the whole Arab Spring series of episodes as far back as 2009 (for what purpose no one knows), so we will hear much more about this in the coming years should she decide to run for president. But ISIS, I’m sure, won’t wait. But for now it’s Obama-Clinton inspired FUBAR.
By January 1943 the American people were tired of war, and the English people were doubly tired, but it wasn’t over, so they soldiered on until it was over. By 2011 the American people were also tired of war in Iraq, only our government and the Democrat Party told us we should be tired of war, because the war was over.
The American government lied, and in doing so has painted itself into a corner, for now it cannot admit that this threat is of its making…and I am quite sure they will spend all their resources in covering this sordid fact up rather than fighting this threat while it is still largely exposed, vulnerable and 800o miles away.
Thoughts on Paralyzed Patriots
So what do patriots do?
Well, we’ve actually faced two additional existential threats in recent years, both of which required the American people to vote down the threat in rather spectacular form. In both cases patriots won the vote but lost the fight.
For people who paid close attention, Bill Clinton represented an existential threat even though he posed as a centrist Democrat in 1992. Bit it didn’t take long for Clinton to present his true colors, nor the patriots the recognize it, for in just two short years they sent in a new wave of Republicans to fix Congress, throwing many of the bums out, ostensibly on the promise to reform the system, which they made some attempt to do before finally being swallowed up by it.
There should have been a lesson for patriots to learn there, namely that you can’t reform government from the inside once it has passed a kind of failsafe point. Let’s just say there’s something about the water in Washington. Of all the original Contract With America congressman who took a pledge to leave office after six terms (in 2006), how many are still there, and will retire millionaires because of having stayed? History (and myth) are filled with tales about this very human frailty, which is why I never get angry at innocent pups for becoming dogs eventually.. My favorite is Odysseus filling all his crewmen’s ears with wax, then having himself tied to the mash so his ship could pass the sirens and their songs that always drove ships upon the rocks.
Think of a zealous missionary trying to reform a brothel full of harlots by living inside the bordello with them. When a man goes off to Washington with only a few dollars in his pocket, and learns of all the wondrous money he can earn there just by playing along (there’s plenty to go around), his zealotry for reform almost always abandons him. It’s only human.
Next came Barack Obama, who, unlike Clinton nakedly exposed his leftist agenda, but who won anyway because he also exposed a naked black skin that no one could say “no” to.. But by 2010, just two short years again, American patriots once again were onto his game, coming out of every nook and cranny in America to throw even more bums out and replace them with a new generation of reformers, only to find, by 2014, the original Republican Party, many of that Class of ’94, had already lost their hankering for reform. For every step forward there were two steps back.
Patriots have been to the well twice in the past 20 years, yet seem to have lost more ground. Rush Limbaugh uses a football metaphor that describes what I’ve been preaching the past few years, that we and the Left, grass roots Republicans versus Democrats (not sure where the GOP is in this game) are playing two different games. The Left is trying to not only defeat us but destroy us (which may explain why the GOP’s is nowhere to be seen), while we are struggling to get first downs in a game we think will go on forever…and are just whooping it up and dancing in the bleachers when we get one.
So, just what will this next 2014 election profit patriotic Americans, as we confront two existential threats simultaneously, both ISIS and the craven men and women who invited them back to the terror game, plus the reformers we’d thought we’d hired to fix this 20 years ago, but who keep denying us our touchdowns? Yes of course, we will vote, and will likely get another first down this year. But that son of a bitch in the striped shirt with the whistle in his mouth will still be calling the game for two years. And ISIS will be here in some fashion or another sooner than later and Obama-the-ref may well refuse to recognize they are even on the field….unless there is some political profit in it for him.
For sure we need to let our congressmen know what we think about the ISIS threat in as loud and threatening voice as we can muster (if you agree with me, at least), for this can actually flip this administration. Just don’t expect your feckless congressmen to be as fearful of a national threat. Most no longer view such threats that way anymore. Just let them known that any American deaths on US soil will be on their heads.
Otherwise we need to shut off the national flagpole valve.
So, we need to think the unthinkable about all politicians now, and not just the Democrats, and conjure up in our own minds, and in our own communities, the longer generational battle we have to fight if we are to win this game. That’s where the real war will be won of lost.
Finally, there were lessons from our 1994 and 2010 wins for the Left to learn as well, especially about how to “contain” Republican voters, and I think history shows they learned theirs lessons much better than we have ours. They have tried, and largely succeeded, in paralyzing some of our finest patriots, and even made it profitable for prominent conservative bloggers, writers and pundits to profit from this paralysis. The media, and our exaggeration of their power, has turned our desire to fight the Left and other enemies inward, into a parlor game which we can play on the couch, which frightens no one, anywhere.
I’ll spare you the sermon. For five years I’ve urged people to do things other than vote, for you’re being sucker-punched by the media believing that voting will fix things. Three strikes and you’re out on that account. It’s not the vote, but the expectations. We need to turn over tables in the temple; kick up a dust. Make noises heard downtown, not in Washington. Tithe your time to make bad local politicians’ life miserable, and trust me, the din will trickle up, and your congressmen, regardless of party, will know to be afraid. It’s the noise you make at home over Common Core that will signal to your congressman the price you will extract if he screws up the immigration issue. Quit minding other states’ and cities’ business. That’s what the Left does. Busybodies. Simply take a lesson from what some insipid professor in Georgia is threatening his students with if they say “Bless you”, and make a plan once some idiot in your town does the same. Be prepared so you can bring down the house on someone you can actually reach out and slap. You can’t do anything about that Georgia professor. Draw your line in the sand a little closer to your own feet. Quit acting like toothless field marshals and be happy that you can be a local commander with a bite. we need thousands of commanders, field marshals, not so many.
We need to make politicians afraid again, as if it were still the classical era of our republic when the national government couldn’t get within 100 miles of the people without their permission. Dismiss the notion that big bad government can be fixed by big good government. Lucifer’s operative word there is “big”, not “bad”. There are hundreds of things you can do, all determined by local conditions, and all predicated on the idea that the original constitutional compact between the American people and the federal government is that the federal government shouldn’t matter in our lives, except to defend the shores, which as of today, we can no longer rely on, either. Start the fight in your own city or country then let it trickle up. For ideas, I have a book full of things you can do, both out in the open and down a dark alley, at my website, VassarBushmills.com Just scroll down to the right to the Archive Vault and go to “The Wahr”. (maybe there’s an e-book/Kindle there?)
Since 1994, in the grand game of containment, how the Left and the media have contained the best and brightest of America’s patriots is to paralyze them into believing that they can be activists and call themselves patriots simply by reading a lot, then commiserating and complaining with one another about the daily outrage. And the left relies on some fine conservative writers and pundits in this endeavor, all of whom are invested in keeping this kind of government-centered political round robin going, for their rice bowls depend entirely on it. (What will the preachers do if the Devil is saved?- Brother Dave Gardner). Take that power away from them, for conservative blog sites hold just as many keys to the Paralysis Asylum we’re locked in as the Left does. Patriotism is a contact sport which requires things to be done away from the internet.
I don’t care what you do to become more activist. Go to a meeting. Walk the precinct. Make phone calls. Join a group, or better still, form you own with others with your own action plan. Get a hoodie and sneak down a dark alley if you want. If you’re like me, you don’t want other people to know what you’re doing other than your comrades-in-rolled-up-newspapers and rose bush poison. Just do it. History and the coming generations will judge whether you did enough or made a difference. In all likelihood you will.
But as a patriot paralytic you make no difference at all.